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Baha Mousa Inquiry

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether legal aid has been made available to any persons who are to appear as witnesses at the Baha Mousa Inquiry. (287179)

[holding answer 16 July 2009]: Legal aid is not available to participants in public inquiries. However, under the Inquiries Act 2005 the chairman may make awards where he considers it appropriate. I understand that the right hon. Sir William Gage, chairman of the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry, which is established under the Inquiries Act, has made two awards under section 40(2) of that Act in respect of legal representation for two of the Inquiry’s core participants. Separately, legal assistance at no cost to the individual will be offered to all current and former service personnel and civil servants who are asked to provide evidence as a consequence of their employment.